Inspiration/Motivation

February 27, 2014 § Leave a comment

Woke up this morning feeling inspired. Well… kinda. Woke up way too early because my mother wakes up early which wakes the dogs up early which wakes me up early. This has been a consistent chain of events since I came to the beach but out of stubbornness, I now refuse to get out of bed any earlier than 6:00am even though I’m usually just lying there awake but groggy.

Anyway, once the grogginess cleared a bit with the help of a few strong cups of coffee, my brain set to whirring. I don’t want to make art just to sell it; I want to maintain my integrity as an artist. With that said, I’ve been chewing over the suggestion of a family friend that I make art to sell. I could always use the extra money and it could be an interesting venture if I take it seriously and don’t cop out as I have many times before. My main goal is to pursue my artistic interests but soften my aesthetic in these smaller works with the hopes that they will attract some attention to get my name out there a bit more in the Birmingham community which will hopefully give me a little money in my pocket to pay for my more serious art and develop a platform on which I can present my more serious art. If that makes sense.

I’ve been feeling so desperate lately, so unhappy. Anything that holds a glimmer of interest or hope or potential needs to be seized full-force whether that be a new hairstyle, buying clothes at a thrift store, or racking up more debt by purchasing art supplies. If it gives me hope, if it makes me hurt a little less, I’m going to fucking do it. I won’t always be in this state so I have no fear that this is going to become a habit. Right now, I need to feel better in whatever way I can.

The new art supplies should be delivered just after I get back to Birmingham, so that’s great timing. I’ve been brainstorming ideas, scouring etsy for inspiration, and taking lots of notes in my sketchbook so that I can hit the ground running once I get back. The studio needs to be cleaned up, unpacked, and organized before I can really get into it, but that’s okay. Shouldn’t take me very long. No more excuses, kid. Get your ass in gear and make some art.

In the meantime, I’m still applying to jobs and still getting lots of rejection. I don’t know why people keep job postings up when they already have selected the candidate they’re pretty sure they want. All that anxiety and excitement is wasted, leaving me feel worse than before I applied to the job. I’m still trying to volunteer at the local museum down here just for something to do, but so far not much response though I did meet the internship coordinator at their opening last week. I’m really struggling with the waiting game and I know that if I don’t get something to do soon, I might just lose my mind.

But for now, I’m riding on the desperate, fleeting wave of hopes and dreams that continue to beat futilely against the steep cliffs of reality. Maybe some lemmings are on the way…

Typical

February 26, 2014 § Leave a comment

Like every other girl on the planet, when I go through a major breakup or life change, I want to drastically change how I look to reflect my desire to be a different person. Of course, that’s not how the “Breakup Haircut” is marketed–as desiring to be a different person–but it’s the reality. Women always say things like “I’m doing this for me” and “I want to get back in touch with who *I* am.” Honestly, we just want to look different so we feel different, feel newer, fresher, brighter, prettier, less damaged.

I’ve really been hankering for a change. I’ve thought about doing a short cut for years, but I’ve hesitated because I heard guys feel like they have a dude on their dick when a girl with short hair is giving them head. Apparently that’s a turnoff for straight men so I’ve kept my hair pretty long just in case they ever look down or roll over or whatever and think “shit, my girlfriend looks like a guy.”

I’ve thought about just cutting bangs again or even lightening my hair, but that doesn’t seem dramatic enough for how I need to feel right now. A big cut seems long overdue, but I’m very attached to my long locks… People tell me I have beautiful hair and I’ve gotten rather attached to it (har har), but am I hiding behind it? Isn’t now the best time to really do something crazy with my hair? If I hate it, it’ll grow out… eventually.

I’m worried too because I’ve got strong features, so my face might look bulky with short hair. My body, too, has gotten incredibly bulky, so I don’t want short hair to make it look like my head is tiny on my currently overweight body. Pinhead, I think, is the term. I guess I could baby-step it, cut it off to chin-length and see how I feel with it that short, then proceed to chop off more if I feel okay. Or is baby-stepping wimpy? I’ve cut my hair off to chin-length before with mixed reviews (one time I loved it, one time I hated it, one time I couldn’t decide how I felt), so shouldn’t I take the plunge and go pixie? It’s just hair, kiddo, who the fuck cares, right?

But appearances are important. It’s important for me to feel good about myself and if a haircut will make or break that (which it will), I should take care in deciding what to do. And by “take care” I mean I’ll sleep on it and tomorrow I’ll know what will be best. The only thing I *really* don’t want to feel right now is regret because hair takes a long time to grow out, especially when you’re used to having it as long as mine.

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edgy, asymmetrical, pixie cut. I may seem ballsy sometimes in the decisions I make but dammit if I’m not a huge ass pussy when it comes to fucking with my hair. I love this cut (my friend Kerrilyn basically has the same cut, only hers is more dramatic) but I’m not convinced I’m ready for that just yet. certainly looks awesome in the picture, though!

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boringggg. this is basically what I’ve had for years. makes me look younger too (if I get asked ONE MORE TIME what I’m studying in college, I’ma kill somebody. I’VE BEEN OUT OF COLLEGE FOR YEARS.).

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this might be the best compromise.

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or this. they’re basically the same haircut. deep side part, cut at my jaw line or an inch below my ears. has more style flexibility than a pixie and would let me test the short hair waters which, for a mid-back long hair girl like me, are pretty damn treacherous.

But I’ve been feeling like absolute shit lately so if a dramatic hair change is something that will help me feel even incrementally better, I have to try it. I’m desperate.

Besides, think how much I’ll save on shampoo and conditioner with 3/4 less hair.

No Air

February 25, 2014 § Leave a comment

It’s weird how depression, anxiety, and heartbreak–all different mental and emotional situations–can lead to the same experience of desperately seeking solitude to collapse into a period of snot, hot tears, and hyperventilation. Somehow the smallest thing, something our brains prioritize almost above all other functions next to a heartbeat, becomes almost impossible as you gasp for air like a fish out of water, repeatedly trying to draw a breath yet oxygen seems just out of reach. Tears seem so hot, unnaturally hot, burning down your cheeks, and if you’re like me, you clench your jaws in determination to somehow fight past this, like stubbornness ever healed a broken heart. Like rational thought ever truly negated an emotional breakdown. 

I should go home soon. I should get back on my feet, resume my straining trudge forward. I should face the shattered life I’ve temporarily left behind and begin to pick up whatever pieces I think can be salvaged. Try to assemble them into a new, if somewhat haphazard and mismatched, mosaic of a life. Hopefully the breaks in my heart have healed over enough to not split open the second I step foot back in Birmingham as the past rushes in on me like the waves breaking on dunes.

Be a big girl, kiddo. Worse things have happened. You’ve been in worse situations before. Things have been worse. Things will be worse in the future. Gotta catch your breath, get a grip, clench your jaws, and power forward.

Two steps forward, one step back.

Two steps forward, one step back.

Two steps forward, one step back.

Catch your breath.

Dry your tears.

Stay strong and carry on.  

SOOC: The Beach

February 23, 2014 § Leave a comment

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February 22, 2014 § Leave a comment

God, today has sucked. Tried everything I could think of to stop feeling like this, but I guess I just have to curl up and wait until it goes away on its own. 

You win some, you lose some. 

Sometimes you feel like your life is really in the toilet. 

I keep thinking I’ve hit rock bottom, then something else happens and I feel worse. 

At least no one has cancer or has lost a limb or is dead. 

That’s it, kid: think positive.

Starting Over

February 22, 2014 § Leave a comment

Mom says we’re loners. We’re just picky about who we like and are fine being on our own, appreciative and protective of our alone time.

I can see where she’s coming from. Our family has never had a superfluous number of friends, always just a select few who are often hundreds of miles away since we all move so often. I like having friends but I can acknowledge that I’m super picky about people, liking less than 10% of everyone I meet (as in liking them enough to be good friends), and most people don’t seem like me very much. My sharp edges have softened over the years in my opinion, but when do we ever accurately see ourselves? I have good family, though, and really friends are just an added bonus.

I’ve decided to give up on the friends group I had in Birmingham that imploded when I moved back from Dallas. It’s so painful to think about because when I left for Texas, I was so happy. I had a large (for me, anyway), solid friends group and everyone seemed to be getting along so well. Everyone seemed really happy while I was in Texas and the friends group grew. Then I moved back and everything crashed and burned so now the friends group is fractured with multiple canyons between people.

I feel like it’s my fault, that everyone would have been better off had I not come back. People would still be talking, laughing, spending quality time with one another. Now everyone is split apart and upset because I moved back to Birmingham and threw a major wrench in the group dynamics. They would have been happier had I not come back, but now the damage is done so there’s no point in focusing on the guilt and regret I feel about the situation. The damage is done.

Instead of trying to pick up all the shattered little pieces to try to reassemble them into some sloppy approximation of the shape they used to form, I feel like it will be better to simply leave the pieces where they fell rather than glue them back together. They will just be prone to break again once those cracks have been made. No amount of glue will fix that.

So I’m letting go, burning bridges, starting over.

I’ve started applying to jobs out-of-state, close enough to still be a short drive from my family which is the reason I moved back in the first place but far enough away from the epicenter of disaster to start fresh, feel new.

Am I running away? I guess so. Depends on how you look at it, I suppose. I just hate that gripping anxiety you feel walking around knowing that you could run into so-and-so with all the awkwardness and discomfort of two people with a messy history connected only by the smoldering ashes of the bridge between them. I like the anonymity of new places, the sense of freedom mixed with a feeling of isolation. Everything has potential in new places whereas staying put, staying in Birmingham, means that I have to continually confront my past which makes it hard to focus on my future.

It’s too bad, too, because I’m in love with my apartment in Birmingham. Perfect location, perfect size, perfect type. So rare for me to use the word perfect in reference to anything in my life, but I really do love that apartment.

If I get offered a job in Birmingham, I’ll stay, but I’m going to try my damnedest to brainwash myself into treating the city as a new place, to see potential in everything rather than continually feeling the pangs of my past. New people, new friends, new possibilities, new Alexa. Well, not new, because I’ll always be who I am and to the disappointment of many I can’t change who I am. But I’d like to be better, more active especially as far as fitness and volunteering go.

But until I get a job interview, I’m staying put down here at the beach. Having the company of my parents and cousin has been unexpectedly wonderful. They’re great folk and the best anyone could ask for. I’m going a little crazy with lack of things to do so I’ve put in an application for volunteering at the local museum (which is an interesting space but they need a lot of help) and I’ve got a lead on a temp job which would be awesome. I really need the money. And lord do I need to do something with myself. Sitting around isn’t something I do well for an extended, open-ended period of time. Unemployment really doesn’t suit me. I could always get a job at a restaurant, I guess, but I’m really not feeling THAT desperate yet. We’ll see how I feel in another week (when rent is due…).

So for now I’m just trying to hold steady, trying not to dwell on who and what I’ve lost. A tall order, absolutely, but with enough grinding of my teeth, I’m pushing through it. Always try to look forward, envision an open road, rather than looking back at the people you’ve had to leave behind. Rehashing the best days and the last days, reliving each fight and each moment of happiness, trying to pick apart what happened and make a definitive decision if you’re okay with how things are now isn’t productive, it just twists the knife. Clench your jaw and push forward even if it feels like you’re trying to drag a tank up to Machu Picchu. Drag yourself by your nails inch by inch until either you rip all your nails out and have to stop or you successfully make it to the top of the hill and can gently roll down the other side.

This is always going to be the hardest part.

Part of the Process

February 19, 2014 § Leave a comment

Disrupted sleep and dreams that try to resolve feelings are all totally normal parts of the healing process.

So, naturally and expectedly, I’ve been sleeping like shit (despite my 100mg of Trazodone and 5mg of melatonin) and when I do sleep, I have intense dreams about having a panic attack while riding a giraffe through crocodile-infested lakes or being pursued by someone new while my ex continues to haunt me with every sweet gesture or my best friend’s dad dying suddenly (she lost her uncle last year).

Part of the process.

To be expected.

Just have to let my subconscious work through things as it does.

Give it time.

All that jazz.

 

Also, I have a sinus infection. So that’s fun. And my dogs insist on sharing my tiny twin bed with me (one dog is ~50lbs the other is ~30lbs) which is also making sleeping more challenging than usual.

I’m having trouble concentrating on any one thing for very long (like 30min max) because of all the emotional stress and anxiety about finding a job (or my inability to). Even lying out on the beach, something I’ve loved since I was a teenager, can no longer hold my attention (you can’t focus enough to relax, kid? really?). I try alternating between looking at the water, walking on the sand, reading a book, and light dozing, but I can’t last an hour out there. The good news is I’ve only been sunburned once but the bad news is that I can’t actually relax enough to do something that I love.

Again, to be expected.

Give it time.

All that jazz.

I was so upset the day that I decided to retreat to the beach (it was Dad’s idea, actually) that I packed the most random things: my nicest blazer, a cotton dress, an odd assortment of tops, some dirty jeans, and about seven pairs of shoes. Thankfully, I did include my bathing suit but I’ve gained so much weight (over 150lbs now, I practically outweigh everyone in my family) I haven’t felt comfortable to wear it (despite the beach being almost completely empty most days), so I just wear the bottoms and a tank top when I go lay out. A hoodie or something to sleep in or a cardigan would all have been smart things to bring. Alas, when emotions and heartbreak take over packing is more something to get done quickly than something to be done right.

Again, to be expected.

Give it time.

All that jazz.

Where Am I?

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